Zaccharie Risacher's former opponent blasts Hawks' decision with No. 1 pick

One of Zaccharie Risacher's former overseas opponents took the Atlanta Hawks' pick to task after their decision.
Atlanta Hawks wing Zaccharie Risacher
Atlanta Hawks wing Zaccharie Risacher / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks selected Zaccharie Risacher with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft. Risacher made a late surge with a strong postseason, part of which Hawks general manager Landry Fields witnessed in person with Assistant GM Kyle Korver and Head Coach Quin Snyder.

Not everyone is a fan of the decision, though, including former NBA guard Frank Mason III.

Played this young guy in France this past season; no way he’s the number one pick in the NBA draft lol,  but I guess!,” Mason posted on X on June 26, beginning a series of posts. “Solid young player but # 1 pick is absurd.

Mason spent four seasons in the NBA after being drafted in the second round by the Sacramento Kings in 2017. He also spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic.

Mason has been out of the lineage since 2021.

Fans tried to point that out to Mason, suggesting he was not good enough for the NBA. he was quick to retort to that and the suggestion that he was merely hating on Risacher, who helped JL Bourg boast the No.1-ranked defense in the French A league and EuroCup.

“I was over there because that’s where I decided to play basketball,” Mason said.

“lol, hating? Never, I like the youngin as a player but I think as the number one pick you gotta be able to do more than just shoot 3s and play defense. But it’s also about fit soooooo…I guess that was the best option for the hawks.”

The Hawks’ decision has been a driver of offseason conversation since they landed the pick in what has been a polarizing draft class.

Risacher profiles as a moder-day wing who can step in right away.

His ultimate ceiling will depend on improving upon some things, many of which Mason alluded to in his mini-rant.

NBA draft analyst gets honest about Hawks’ Zaccharie Risacher

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony gave his post-draft evaluation of Risacher, whom he has had as his No. 1 prospect during the entire pre-draft process.

 “Every NBA team is looking for a wing player like Zaccharie Risacher,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said during the draft. “6-foot-10 in shoes. 8-foot-11 standing reach with an excellent frame. Has a feel for the game. Competitiveness. And a versatility defensivey to guard all over the floor. His team, JL Bourg, had the No. 1 ranked defense in the French league and the EuroCup. They ask him to guard everyone from point guards to power forwards. You don’t see this very often from a teenager against this level of competition.

“He needs to improve his ball-handling, his shot creation to become more than just a 3-and-D role player like he mostly was this season, as well as add strength, which should come in time.”